Cities and Regions in Mongolia

Cities and regions in Mongolia

According to neovideogames, Mongolia is administered in 22 provinces, so-called aimags, of which the capital Ulaanbaatar forms its own administrative district within the central Töw province. The provinces are divided into districts and municipalities. Over half of the Mongolian population lives in the 5 largest cities in Mongolia.


Over 1.4 million people in Mongolia live in the capital Ulaanbaatar alone, which is the political, economic and cultural center of Mongolia. The Süchbaatar-Platz with the monument of the same name, the parliament building, the town hall, the House of Culture, the State Opera and the Mongolian Stock Exchange forms the center of the city, which architecturally mediates between modernity and tradition. The natural history museum with an important collection of fossil dinosaur skeletons, the winter palace of the last Mongolian emperor Bogd Khan with impressive temples and the Dsaisan monument located on a hill south of the city, which commemorates the Second World War and a beautiful view over Ulaanbaatar, are also of tourist importance offers. The public library has a unique collection of Sanskrit manuscripts from the 11th century. The Buddhist temple museums and the Gandan monastery are also worth seeing.


The second largest city in Mongolia with almost 100,000 residents (2017) is Erdenet, at the foot of the Burengiin mountain range approx. 240 km northwest of the capital Ulaanbaatar. The fourth largest copper mine in the world is located in Erdenet and generates the majority of the Mongolian export volume and tax revenue. In the 1980s, life in the city was shaped by Russian miners and engineers. The founding of a large carpet factory also dates back to this time. In addition, the Mongolian University for Science and Technology is based in Erdenet. The capital of Orkhon Province has little to offer as an industrial and commercial city.


The third largest city in Mongolia with almost 80,000 residents and the capital of the Darchan-Uul Province is an industrial site that was only created in 1961 as part of the socialist planned economy to ensure the production of goods for northern Mongolia. The name Darchan means “blacksmith” and signals the task of the city as intended by the Soviets. In addition to the prefabricated architecture typical of Soviet industrial cities, a Buddhist temple complex, the Charagiin monastery housed in an old wooden building in the city center and the Museum of Traditional Folk Art with collections of archaeological artifacts, traditional clothing and cult objects, the city does not offer any special sights.


At the current location of the fourth largest Mongolian city on the Cherlen River with around 42,000 residents, there has been a resting place for caravans for centuries. In the nineteenth century, the camp developed into a city that was an economic center of gravity in eastern Mongolia in the twentieth century. With the withdrawal of Russian workers after the political change, large parts of the economy collapsed, making the city one of the highest unemployment figures in the country.

Culture and sights in Mongolia

The Mongolian culture has its origins in the way of life of the various nomadic peoples who were united by Genghis Khan to form a Mongolian empire. During the spread of Buddhism, the earlier nomadic folk dances reported by travelers through the Mongolian Empire have essentially been lost. However, some dance ceremonies such as the tsam, which was performed by monks to appease wild deities, are still practiced in Mongolia today, while other dances from early nomadic culture such as the Bielgee, in which scenes from nomadic everyday life are shown, are only performed in some remote areas of western Mongolia can be observed. The traditional Mongolian music, however, with the typical horse-head violin as a stylistic instrument,

With Buddhism, Mongolia became the practice of Buddhist art. Painting and sculpture mainly served to create representations as meditation objects for clergy or as prayer objects for lay people. The art of the mandala was widespread, where representations of samsara were created as a sand picture as a contemplative exercise.

With the introduction of socialism, Western cultural influences became increasingly common in Mongolia. especially noticeable in music. Although pop music was frowned upon during the socialist era, the protest songs of the pop group Genghis Khan contributed significantly to the end of socialist rule in Mongolia, which also produced some notable writers such as the author Galsan Tschinag, who has received several German literary prizes.

The cultural monuments of Mongolia worth seeing include the rock paintings of the Altai Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which can be found both on the holy mountain Shiveet Khairkhan and along the Goloog River and, together with other megalithic sculptures, ancient tombs and stone monuments, especially the early historical cultures of the Huns and Turkic peoples.

The cultural landscape of the Orkhon Valley with proven storage areas for Stone Age hunters and gatherers, Bronze Age and Iron Age tombs, medieval memorials with Turkish and Chinese inscriptions, and the remains of the Uyghur capital Char Balgas and the medieval Mongol capital Karakorum is one of Mongolia’s world cultural heritage sites. The ruins of the former capital Xanadu of the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan are located in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, which is already part of the Chinese national territory. In the Chentii Mountains in northern Mongolia is the holy mountain Burkhan Khaldun with the presumed birthplace and burial place of Genghis Khan. The 2,445 m high mountain, on which more than 800 graves were found,

In addition to the cultural sights, especially the impressions of the breathtaking natural landscapes of Mongolia during a trip through the country are to be recommended, which arise among other things when visiting the various national parks. A visit to the Daurian landscapes in eastern Mongolia as far as Russian Siberia and northeastern China with the unique ecosystem of the Daurian steppe, the hot springs of the Changai Mountains and the Taliin Agui lava cave near Shiliin Bogd is certainly worthwhile.

Culture and sights in Mongolia

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